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Realistic / best value piano?
Old 18th July 2017
  #1
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Stevism's Avatar
 
6 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Realistic / best value piano?

Hello!

Just wondering how many of you are pianists here. I might want to invest in a decent (but not too excessive) digital piano that primarily has a full keyboard with realistic action / sounds. It'd be nice if it had midi I/o as well, as ultimately I would use it in electronic music I'm sure.

Do any of you have recommendations / advice on how to begin looking? What's a reasonable budget to get something that will last at least 10-15 years?

I want something I can primarily use to learn piano with, so authentic action and pedals etc are a must.
Thanks!
Old 18th July 2017
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
good question, I've been looking for similar... lots of choice. Budget?
Old 18th July 2017
  #3
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Stevism's Avatar
 
6 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Hah nice! I'm thinking 500-1500, but hopefully max $1000.
Old 18th July 2017
  #4
BM0
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1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Yamaha Clavinova

There are many models to choose from, but the key action is pretty much the same across all. Some models have wood keys. Other variations between models are the cabinet, speakers and computer-learning features. Calvinovas are expensive new, but you probably can find people trying to get rid of them for much cheaper.

I have a CLP-470. From the base model, it has upgraded speakers, wood keys and I got it in the polished ebony cabinet. Standard features include Aux audio In and DIN MIDI I/O and USB. I've plugged synths into the audio and they sound excellent. I got it a few years ago so there are newer models now. Not sure if they still have DIN MIDI I/O.

EDIT: Umm, just saw your budget post... you probably can scratch Clavinova off the list.
Old 18th July 2017
  #5
BM0
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1 Review written
🎧 10 years
New post...

Yamaha P-series piano or Casio equivalent. I had a P90 and it was a great beginner piano. Great key action for the price. Sound was ok. It had DIN MIDI but no USB. I think newer models have replaced DIN MIDI with USB only.

I tried out the Casios at the store well after I bought my Yamaha. I thought the key action on the Casios were very nice. The price of both are around the same.
Old 18th July 2017
  #6
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chemosit's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I am first and foremost a pianist, and my top priorities are key action and piano sounds. Everything else is secondary.

After extensive shootouts, I went with the Yamaha CP4. I highly recommend it.

1) Superb action
2) Realistic piano sounds
3) Not too heavy
4) Excellent layout and ergonomics
5) MIDI
6) USB storage
7) Excellent build quality
8) Ballanced XLR outs (as well as unbalanced TS)
9) EQ and effects
10) Aux audio input
11) Layer/split

Roland makes a couple of quality models, as well. For me, however, the CP4 ticked all the right boxes and is a pleasure to play.
Old 18th July 2017
  #7
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
@ Stevism try a Yamaha P-105 if you can find one.
Old 18th July 2017
  #8
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ImNotDedyet's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I have a Yamaha P-155 that works absolutely fine for me. It's pretty slim on sounds and the sounds aren't what I'd consider fantastic, but for a MIDI controller or just practicing, it's perfect. Plus, it has speakers, so I don't have to turn on my computer/monitors, etc.

If I were you however, I'd try to go to a music/piano store and play the different keyboards. There's a great deal of difference between the actions on different brands and sometimes even within brands. Find the one that you like best. If you've already taken some lessons or will be taking lessons, perhaps ask what the lessons will be taught on and try to compare what you buy to that piano.

And it's pretty unlikely that you'd find anything that won't have MIDI capabilities on it, so you should be good there.

Regarding pedals...the price range you're looking for could have crap to decent pedals. You'll likely only need the sustain pedal as you're just learning. The ability for the piano you buy to support half pedaling may be important in the future, but probably not - truthfully I've rarely ever missed it on a digital piano. But do keep in mind that half pedaling (the ability to change the amount of sustain on the pedal) is an option for pianos, and isn't available on all digital pianos.
Old 18th July 2017
  #9
Casio Privia Pro PX-5S is right at $1000. The 88 keys have a good playable feel despite being plastic. They have a wood feel (textured) and pseudo-hammer action (scaled). The reason I have one is for the selection of electric pianos, organs, string/brass and the limited but decent synth section. They can be combined fairly well for some nice multi-timbral sounds. The polyphony is 256 notes which helps when stacking up layers of voices. An assignable mixer/modulation section is very clever and useful too. The thing is light and portable (24 lbs.) and even runs on batteries. Includes midi, sequencer, effects section and a USB drive for program storage.

Look for one used. I got mine for $600 a few years back.

I am not a piano player as such but started my music studies on piano at age four so I have a good background in what to expect. The Privia may be too extensive in features for what you are looking for but is a decent piano sound and feel. I do have a real love for the Kawai MP series stage pianos, and if I were serious about pursuing a controller for a lifetime the MP-7 or MP-11 would be my first choice. More money though. the MP-7 is $1,800 and the MP-11 is $2,800. Worth every penny despite the sticker shock.
Old 18th July 2017
  #10
Gear Nut
roland

I'm voting for Roland. I have an FP-80 and it is superb. the action is just like a piano (on the harsher end of things, but that can be adjusted), and the sound is very, very good. I consider the keyboard action and piano sound second to none in its price range.
it has 4 small full-range speakers with directionality, and it is not a straight-up sample; it's almost like a virtual analogue of a piano. Nothing will replace a piano, but this does very well. I paid about 1200 or so USD, but you can find a good used one for much less. There are a few models, so make sure you look into the ones that use the same piano modelling and keyboard action as the high-end ones (as the FP-80 does.. though it is outdated now, I think). It also comes with a fairly decent collection of strings, pads, organs, brass, etc sounds and importantly, with a big collection of roland electronic drum sounds (which you can play with full dynamics from the keyboard). I used to have a TD-9, so these work well for me, though I rarely have the patience to lay down drum tracks with a keyboard, but it's good to have them around. It does MIDI and it pushes external sound through (plus mix to play along), so for instance, I double-up with my synths routed through the Roland speakers and use it as an organ or pad. that's all I use it for these days, though sometimes I or my wife will practise with headphones without disturbing the other one, because we have a baby grand in the living room.

for something more inexpensive (like cheaper box with cheaper speakers and key action), go Korg (less than $1,000)

edit: forgot to say that it does these funky harmonies if you plug in a microphone (you can set how many voices etc), which is kind of cool with vocals, and pretty cool with other things like other keyboards.

Last edited by raisemyrent; 18th July 2017 at 08:31 PM.. Reason: forgot some stuff
Old 18th July 2017
  #11
Gear Head
 
Baron Karza's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Kawai, Yamaha, and Roland have the best actions.

Kawai = heavy action
Yamaha = slightly heavy action
Roland = some models have textured key surface that rubs off after heavy usage
Old 18th July 2017
  #12
Gear Nut
 
kittenmeatz's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I've tried quite a bunch and my personal (cheap) favourite is the Kawai ES110. The keys' action was perfect to me, sounded good too.
Old 19th July 2017
  #13
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gruvsyco's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I was doing a lot of research on this recently and it seemed the Kawai ES100 and now ES110 is kind of a favorite for those wanting just a really good basic digital piano. I ended up spending my piano money elsewhere but, when I get back around to it, I am definitely going with the Kawai.
Old 19th July 2017
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Casio px 5s is lovely, but the built quality isnt the best. I'd go Yamaha mox8
Old 19th July 2017
  #15
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Spectralwaves's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Ive been thinking about this too on & off & recently I thought about getting a used Kurzweil PC2X (@ 650 Euro locally)

88 note graded hammer action & the pianos are supposed to be very good.(as well as the rest of the Kurzweil rom soundset)

I also thought about getting the latest Studiologic SL88 @ 399 Euros & just using the Logic pianos .
Old 19th July 2017
  #16
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login's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Casio is the best value but it is important to know that Casio uses the same key action on all its models, form the Px160 to the PX5S, aswell as the basic piano sound is the same. So there is no point in buying expensive Casio digital pianos, the PX160 is the best value under a grand.

Kawai Mp7 has probably the best action just a little over your budget (I just became aware it went up in price), Kawai uses samples of their own pianos (I think the Shigueru kawai concert grand) which are not that common (yamaha and Steinway are the most popular pianos) so the sound is not for everyone.

Roland FP90 (a little bit over your budget) offers the best key action by roland (the same in the high end RD2000). This model of roland uses a sound engine which is part sample and part Physical modeling (as the Vpiano), like Pianoteq. The sound is also quite particular.

But piano key action is quite a subjective preference, try the most you can.

(Kurzweil and Nord use Fatar key action and while its not bad I think it doesn't compare to the best Yamaha, Roland and kawai have to offer, and IMHO the key action of casio is even better).
Old 19th July 2017
  #17
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🎧 5 years
Roland FP-90
Old 19th July 2017
  #18
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Stevism's Avatar
 
6 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Thank you so much everyone!! Great advice, I think I'll go to a store to play with the ones mentioned here to finalize my decision based on how I prefer the sounds and feel. Definitely don't feel as lost as I did before this thread. Thanks again!!
Old 19th July 2017
  #19
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slaughtrhaus's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevism ➑️
Hello!

Just wondering how many of you are pianists here. I might want to invest in a decent (but not too excessive) digital piano that primarily has a full keyboard with realistic action / sounds. It'd be nice if it had midi I/o as well, as ultimately I would use it in electronic music I'm sure.

Do any of you have recommendations / advice on how to begin looking? What's a reasonable budget to get something that will last at least 10-15 years?

I want something I can primarily use to learn piano with, so authentic action and pedals etc are a must.
Thanks!
Does it have to be portable? If not then I can easily recommend this bad boy-

Yamaha Pf70 No idea how old it is but I bought mine in '99 used for 350 bucks. It's built like a tank, has speakers, midi in/out/thru. and weighted keys that feel really nice. Makes a great controller as well. Limited sounds but they all sound ok if you tweak the eq a little. It has worked perfectly since the day I got it and for the last 3 years my daughter has been banging on it with no effect to the performance. It's heavy as hell though, hurts my back every time I decide to move it.
Old 21st July 2017
  #20
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
@ slaughtrhaus get something lighter to save your back.
Old 21st July 2017 | Show parent
  #21
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by boombapdame ➑️
@ slaughtrhaus get something lighter to save your back.
Indeed. I have pretty much passed that unit down to my daughter as the "family piano", but she like her Casio (some wal-mart special pos) better so I just let it sit there now...
Old 12th October 2017 | Show parent
  #22
Gear Nut
 
skyy38's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevism ➑️
Hah nice! I'm thinking 500-1500, but hopefully max $1000.
Have you checked your local Costco?
Old 27th May 2018
  #23
Here for the gear
 
If you are looking for something that will last for the next 10-15 years with realistic hammer action Kawai VPC1 is the answer. Right now Ravenscroft and Pianotech have amazing samples that can be replaced if you find something better in the future. You can see an example here:
https://www.allpianos.com/digital
Old 28th May 2018
  #24
M32
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I found the Kawai Mp series to have the most likeable key-action for the price range and type (slab-piano).
Since they released the Mp11SE edition, you can get good deals for the MP11 original.
You might get close to 1500, especially second-hand. The difference is'nt big, just 2 new samplesets, some cosmetic differences and the new pedal is optical.

I've never heard or felt anything more realistic, except of course if you go for something like an 8000 euro Roland the size of an upright. Almost defeating the purpose.

I'm definitely getting one for my next upgrade. Erm. As soon as i've upgraded my wallet.

It is quite heavy because of the key mechanics. Things like the nord piano are very useable, and a lot more transporteable.
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